Jorge Costa: Can’t judge Hyderabad from their position on the table

Mumbai City FC will hope to continue their red-hot form in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they take on Hyderabad FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. After a slow start to their campaign, Mumbai are unbeaten in their last five matches, including back-to-back wins in the last two, and will look to carry forward the momentum against a struggling Hyderabad side, who are currently at the bottom of the table.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa suggested that it would be dangerous to judge Hyderabad by their position on the table and said, “Sunday’s game is very important for us against a very good team. Hyderabad don’t deserve to be in the place they are in right now. They have very good players and a good coach. We respect the opponents and we may change a few things.”

“The most important thing to keep in mind is that we cannot look at the league table. If my players say that Hyderabad are in the bottom of the table, then my players might think that they can win the match. I’m sure it won’t be an easy game. I will do my best to make sure my team wins. We must avoid basic mistakes. It’s very important that we win. We need the points to be there in the top four,” he added.

Hyderabad’s Brazilian striker Bobo has been in fine scoring form of late, netting three in his last two outings. Asked if there were specific plans in place to deal with the threat, the Portuguese opined, “Honestly, it’s easier to stop a single player than to stop a team. So, we know their strengths. They have strong players who can make a difference. If we play our tactics right and do a lot of work with the spirit that we have, I think we can win the game and get a positive result.”

While the Islanders have been unbeaten on the road so far, they are yet to register a victory at home this campaign. Addressing the trend, Costa stated, “For me it’s the same, whether we play home or away. We made some mistakes and we lost points because of these. Now we are playing good again, but we were unlucky in a few games in the past. We could have been in a much better position this season if we had a bit of luck. The last two matches, we played together as a family, we worked hard, and we got the three points.”

Joining head coach Costa was midfielder Raynier Fernandes, who spoke about his progression this season. “The main thing is I work hard during the training sessions. Each day, training for me, as well as the other players, is a new challenge. The more we do well in the training, the more likely that the coach will give us an opportunity. This is what I am doing. Training in Mumbai is intense, and we are like a family,” he said.

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